Rutgers announced a 20-member 2022 recruiting class on the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday. You can find profiles on each one here with the exception of Gavin Wimsatt who enrolled this past fall. For more on the signees expected to enroll early in January, click here.
Greg Schiano and the coaching staff have done a tremendous job assembling talent in his third class since returning to Rutgers. Four 4-star recruits signed as well as players with speed and athleticism that can help improve this team in multiple areas.
“Our staff did an incredible job recruiting this class over the long haul,” Schiano said in a call with the media on Wednesday. “It does take so many people to recruit a class. To recruit this type of class, it takes great effort and persistence. I’m really proud of our people for what they’ve done. I really believe this class is a big step forward for our program.”
Even though COVID-19 is still part of our daily lives, the 2022 recruiting cycle was the closest to normal that Schiano has had since his return to Rutgers.
“The first (class) we recruited in 11 days and the second (class) we recruited over Zoom and Web Ex,” Schiano explained. “Some of those kids walking in this past January had never been on campus before. So this was really our first class where we could recruit it more traditionally. What a great class that it is.”
Schiano stated this class has helped change perception of the program.
“I think it shows that people see Rutgers football differently,” Schiano declared. “Recruits, high school coaches, people in our footprint where we recruit, they say they see a culture (and) a program that is on the rise.”
He added, “That is significant to be able to recruit the way we did for this class.”
At the end of the first day of the early signing period, the 2022 class for Rutgers is currently ranked 26th nationally and 6th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports composite rankings. Things can change in the next couple of months as some high school recruits will sign in early February while transfers added are included in the class rankings as well.
While Schiano has stated many times that New Jersey will always be a priority and essential part of the way this program recruits, the coaching staff was able to secure commitments from prospects spread across several geographical regions.
“I think this is probably the most diverse class I’ve ever been a part of at Rutgers,” stated Schiano.
He continued, “20 players from nine states. You can see some of the Big Ten footprint in there outside of our traditional areas but still big in New Jersey and the surrounding area in Pennsylvania and New York. I thought it was really special, whether the rankings are accurate or not, to have three top rated players in three different states. That’s part of what I mean that it’s a big step (the class).”
The top players in three states are Jacob Allen from New Jersey, Moses Walker from New York and Gavin Wimsatt from Kentucky. That’s the type of result that moves the needle forward for the program, both from a talent perspective and with perception. Both are hugely important as Schiano works Rutgers up the Big Ten ladder.
Here is a geographical breakdown of the class.
New Jersey (9): Jacob Allen, Kenny Fletcher, Q’yaeir Price, Taj White, Joe De Croce, Thomas Amankwaa, Nelson Monegro, Mike Higgins, Jai Patel (PWO)
Pennsylvania (3): Samuel Brown, Anthony Johnson, Emir Stinette
Florida (2): Amarion Brown, Dantae Chin
New York (1): Moses Walker
Maryland (1): Zilan Williams
Indiana (1): DJ Allen
Ohio (1): Kwabena Asamoah
Illinois (1): Rashad Rochelle
Kentucky (1): Gavin Wimsatt
In the 2021 class, Rutgers also had nine players sign from New Jersey. However, a difference in this cycle is they signed recruits from Indiana and Kentucky while maintaining a presence in Ohio and Illinois. Winning recruiting battles in those states long term is essential to improving talent within the program as a member of the Big Ten.
While growing the footprint is important long term, so is strengthening the program’s presence in those Midwestern states that Rutgers has signed players from in multiple classes under Schiano.